Legend in the Mist In Action
Hello everyone and welcome to our In Action showcase of Legend in the Mist, a rustic fantasy RPG from the makers of City of Mist. I’m your MC, Kevin Carpenter, and today I’m going to run a scenario to show you a slice of how to play the game!
Here are the rules in a nutshell. When playing a scene, the players and the MC–or Master of Ceremonies–follow a sequence of Establish >> Action >> Consequences.
- In every turn, the MC establishes or re-establishes the scene. If there are Challenges in the scene, like adversaries, the MC can make a Threat with them.
- Then the MC gives the spotlight to one of the players. The player in the spotlight takes action, and often rolls the dice, determining its outcome.
- If a player’s action generates Consequences or if they ignore a Threat, the MC delivers Consequences, which are story complications and negative outcomes. If the situation allows, the MC can ask the player to take a reaction to mitigate the Consequences.
This sequence repeats itself, with a different player getting the spotlight each time.
Let’s establish the scene. It’s an overcast autumn morning in the fields by the village of Ravenhome. The Red Marshal is chasing after the prankster Apple Picker while the Wise One is making her way to the village and crosses their path. A child is playing next to a patch of unharvested barley. Idyllic, right?
Now we introduce a Threat. The child starts screaming as something rustles within the barley. The scene is established, the Threat introduced, so now we move to Action. The MC gives the spotlight to one of the players – this time, the Apple Picker.
Here’s the Apple Picker’s character sheet. You may notice that characters in Legend in the Mist don’t have stats. Instead they have descriptors called Tags, like how the Apple Picker is scrappy, can roll with a blow, and has a certain unkempt charm. Using these tags in an Action is how your character affects the world.
Let’s dive into taking actions. An Action in this game can have three layers: Narration, Roll, and Effects. If you’re just talking or looking around, you only need Narration to describe what’s going on. But if there’s uncertainty or a chance for a dramatic outcome, you need to Narrate and then Roll to determine the outcome of your action.
To roll, you count up the number of tags you have that directly help you take the action you narrated. Each such tag gives your roll 1 Power, and every negative tag reduces your Power by 1. You then roll 2d6 and add your Power.
After rolling, on a total of 10 or more, you succeed without Consequences. On a 6 or less, you fail and suffer Consequences. On a 7-9, you succeed AND suffer Consequences.
Sometimes this is all you need to continue the game – to know if the action succeeded, had Consequences, or both. This is called a quick outcome and is used when you want to keep things flowing without going into detail.
In the field, the Apple Picker rushes over to the child. They can’t see what’s in the barley, so they decide to throw an apple at it to see if there’s someone there. This is simple, so the MC makes this a quick outcome. The Apple picker chooses their tags bushel of apples and strong throw, giving them +2 Power to their roll. Unfortunately, the Apple Picker rolls a 4 for a total of 6, which means a failure with Consequences.
This ends the action phase, so it’s time for the MC to deliver Consequences. The MC describes the apple making a squishy, unexpected sound – followed by a low, drawn out moan from the barley. Out comes a blackened, soggy bog corpse donning rusted armor. No one knows what this is, but we’ll call it the Waken Sentry. It notices the children and starts dragging its feet toward them.
The MC can dish out multiple Consequences at a time, so they could choose to do something else like give the Apple Picker a fear status, but we’ll keep it simple for now.
Back to the Establish phase. A new Threat is established, as the MC describes the Waken Sentry drawing out a rusted weapon to attack the children. Our Red Marshal asks for the spotlight and takes it. They’ve waited for this moment of heroism their whole life, and so they rush to get in between the Waken Sentry and the children.
This is going to be another quick action. The Red Marshal uses their tags protector of the dales, athletic, runner’s stamina, and aspiring local hero to gain a Power of 4. He rolls an 8 for a total of 12. A success with no Consequences! Sure enough, the Red Marshal dashes across the field and stands between the monster and the innocents.
But just because the roll didn’t generate Consequences doesn’t mean there are none. The Red Marshal successfully got to where he wanted, but the Threat of the Waken Sentry’s attack wasn’t prevented. Instead, the MC rules the blow lands on the Red Marshal, dishing out a Consequence of a slashed-3 status. Statuses are special tags with a tier between 1 and 6 that represent conditions.
Thankfully, you can attempt to mitigate the Consequences if you have a chance at escaping them or making them hurt less. You do this by rolling and, on a success, spending your Power to buy down the status.
The Red Marshal blocks the blow with their shield along with the famous red armor of his order. Using the tags the red armor and a villager’s shield for a Power of 2, the Red Marshal rolls a 6 for a total of 8. As the Waken Sentry cuts through their rickety shield, the Red Marshal spends their 2 Power to buy down the slashed-3 status into grazed-1.
The MC now makes another Threat, describing the putrid smell and decomposing body parts that come off the Waken Sentry after its latest blow. The Wise One takes the spotlight next. She has never seen any horror like this in all her years, so her mind is racing to recall old tales in hopes of figuring out what this creature could be!
The MC wants to determine exactly how much she recalls, so this will be a tracked outcome instead of a quick one. When the MC wants to get tactical and quantify the degree of the action’s success, or if the player wants to alter their own tags or that of their target, you can use a Tracked outcome instead of a Quick one, by adding the final layer of choosing Effects after rolling. To do so, you spend your Power on Effects that add or remove tags from the game or give other benefits, such as Attacking someone by giving them a harmful status, Discovering new info, Restoring allies to health by removing harmful tags from them, or Creating new items by adding new tags to the game.
Using her tags seen a thing or two and twilight encounters, the Wise One rolls an 11 for a total of 13. A success with no Consequences! The Wise One spends her 2 Power on the Discover effect so the MC must reveal two valuable details, one detail for each point of Power.
The MC reveals what the Wise One sees: “In terms of what it is, you’re uncertain. You’ve never seen anything like this before, and can only assume some foul force is at play. You need to inspect it closer to figure out exactly what it is, but a ward of protection may expel the evil spirit within it. You also know that these villagers are not mentally equipped to face such a vile creature. They better turn their gaze away now!” The Wise One calls out for everyone to turn away.
In the Consequence phase, the MC will consider this revelation as addressing the Threat, but only if the others act on it. The Red Marshal gets it and looks away. But the rascally Apple Picker is too intrigued and keeps staring. The MC states the sight gives them the status nausea-2.
The Apple Picker attempts to mitigate the status with their scrappy nature. Rolling a 6 for a total of 7, they spend their 1 Power to buy down the nausea-2 status into grossed-out-1.
The MC re-establishes the scene and makes a new Threat. The Waken Sentry smells the spilled blood from the Red Marshal’s cut and raises its sword to chop him down once more, this time for good! The Red Marshal takes the spotlight and describes drawing his own sword to strike back.
Combat is usually tactical, so this is going to be a tracked outcome. Specifically what we’re tracking is the Waken Sentry’s Limits. A Limit represents how many tiers of a status something can take before it’s done. In this case, the Waken Sentry has Limits of WOUND 2 and BANISH 2. The players don’t know what these methods are or what the Limits are – unless they take action to find out.
PC’s also have Limits. If any of them take 5 tiers of a status, they’re incapacitated. And if they take 6 tiers, like slashed-6, they’re dead. The Marshal isn’t in immediate danger with their grazed-1, but statuses could stack up fast.
The Red Marshal uses his tags martial training, swordsmanship, and brute strength to strike at the Waken Sentry with a Power of 3. But wait! The Waken Sentry can start out with its own tags and statuses! Specifically, the Waken Sentry has the tag dead flesh which makes it harder to wound it by cutting or piercing. This negative tag will subtract 1 Power from the Red Marshal’s roll. In addition, the Marshal is still grazed-1, and this status reduces their Power by an additional 1.
The Red Marshal is now rolling with just a +1 bonus. And after rolling a 9 for a total of 10, the Red Marshal succeeds with no Consequences! The Red Marshal spends 1 Power on the Attack Effect to give the Waken Sentry slashed-1.
The Threat was addressed and the action was a clean success, so the MC delivers no Consequences. The Waken Sentry takes a slash across the chest and the Red Marshal dodges its counterstrike.
Next, the MC describes the Sentry as still reeling from the Marshal’s blow and momentarily disoriented, making no immediate Threat.
The Apple Picker takes the spotlight once more. Not scared of this…thing, they are going to use this moment to trip it. The MC decides this will be a tracked outcome so they know what advantage this gives the Marshal’s next strike.
The Apple Picker uses their tags rascal, prankster, and deft hands. The MC reveals the Waken Sentry has a tag called shambling that actually makes it more prone to tripping and gives +1 to the Apple Picker. But the Apple Picker is still grossed-out-1, giving them a -1, for a final Power of 3. With a roll of 5 that totals to 8, the Apple Picker succeeds but with Consequences.
You can actually spend Power on multiple Effects if you want. The Apple Picker spends 2 out of their 3 Power on the Disrupt effect, giving the Waken Sentry a prone-2 status. They also spend their remaining Power on the Restore effect to shake off their disgust, removing their grossed-out-1 status, with the MC’s agreement.
Since the Action had Consequences, the MC is going to get creative. As the Waken Sentry lands, the MC describes it splashing putrid death fluids everywhere nearby and hitting the Apple Picker’s eye with something dark and stingy. This doesn’t have any Effects. This Consequence is going to be a story complication that will come back later to haunt the Apple Picker.
But in the present, the MC re-establishes the scene and describes a new Threat as the fallen Waken Sentry struggles to get up to its feet. Taking the spotlight, the old Wise One slowly makes her way into the field and begins to chant an old children’s rhyme in hopes it will banish the creature away.
“Although the wind does howl outside,
There’s warmth still here by firelight
All things by this true song abide,
BEGONE old Creatures of Twilight!”
For this tracked outcome, the Wise One uses her tags oldways practitioner, wards and protections, and twilight encounters for a Power of 3. The Waken Sentry is prone-2 and slashed-1, but neither status makes the chant any worse or better. On a roll of 10 for a total of 13, the Wise One succeeds without Consequences!
The Wise One puts all of her Power into the Attack Effect, giving the Sentry banished-3. This status exceeds its Limit of BANISH 2, defeating it! With no Threat to materialize and no Consequences from the action, the MC describes the Waken Sentry thrashing about as a strong gust of wind blows over it, perhaps carrying an invisible darkness away. Then, it is still.
After the Red Marshal pokes it with his sword a few times, they all agree: There’s nothing left but a rotting bog corpse! But what dark force caused it to come alive in the first place? And what does that mean for their village?
As we fade away from this scene, we hope you enjoyed this brief preview of Legend in the Mist. This video doesn’t cover every mechanic, but you now know most of how to play this game. If you want to know more, check out our recent video on the game engine behind Legend in the Mist and check out the free Legend in the Mist demo through the link in the description.
Until next time, have fun!